Friday, 5 December 2014

Are you making these 5 social media mistakes in your business?

Social media can be a very effective marketing tool for every type of business but people underestimate the amount of thought and effort it takes to do social correctly.
Bianchi PR, a firm that specializes in automotive suppliers, studied the social media efforts of their top clients and found that there was plenty of room for improvement.
James A. Bianchi, firm president said,
“Auto suppliers – like many other business-to-business sectors – are using social media, but most of them are way behind consumer-oriented sectors in terms of strategy, content and engagement. Every supplier I’ve talked with is intensely curious about how his or her company compares with peers and what they can do to boost engagement.”
If you’re not in the automotive biz, keep reading anyway; these are tips everyone can use.
The study begins with a baseline. From this chart we see that LinkedIn is the social media powerhouse but companies are only posting there an average of 3 times a month. Facebook and Twitter are close enough follower wise but again, look at the posting numbers; less than twice a week on Facebook and every other day on Twitter. Interesting. YouTube – barely a blip.
From there, the study talks about the top 5 social media mistakes automotive suppliers are making.
1. Posts do not include enough visuals. Although video and images boost audience engagement significantly, only 53 percent of supplier Facebook posts and less than 15 percent of Tweets, for example, included visuals.
Visuals are tough. It takes extra time to find an appropriate image, especially if you’re looking for a generic, legal photo. On LinkedIn, it’s not a big deal but more people like and interact when a Facebook post has an image. On Twitter, photos used to be special but now they’re the norm so you have to keep up if you want to stand out.
2. Posts do not share enough earned media coverage. Although coverage in trusted media outlets is viewed as the most credible of all content, less than 10 percent of all supplier posts shared such coverage.
This is the most interesting point in the study. I always think it’s redundant to share these types of articles on social. It sounds so self-serving to say look what Important Website said about our company today. But it makes sense, especially in the B2B context. If a leading industry magazine writes about your fantastic widgets, that’s news that should be shared on social.
3. Too many supplier posts are self-promotional. While the rule of thumb is a company should post one update about the company for every three that are about the audience and its interests, suppliers are doing the opposite – with 50-75 percent of supplier social media posts being self-focused.
This is the flipside of mistake #2. Sharing good press isn’t the same as 10 posts a week that shout ‘look at me, look at me’. If you want people to follow you on social, you have to give them information they can use from a variety of sources.
4. Suppliers are not using LinkedIn enough. Among the four platforms reviewed, LinkedIn typically gives suppliers their largest audience (average 30,000+), yet the top suppliers average only three LinkedIn updates per month.
I already said what I have to say about that.
5. Suppliers need to embrace more interactive posts. Interactive posts which allow the audience to express themselves and participate – such as contests, polls, surveys, trivia or opinion questions – tend to encourage the most audience engagement, yet less than 6 percent of supplier posts were of this category.
Oh my, this is a toughie. We all know we need to be more interactive but it’s no fun, and kind of scary, when no one replies. That’s going to happen, but you have to keep asking. I get the most responses on simplest questions on Twitter. Try it, put it out there and then try it again. It’s hard to get the party started, but once people begin to respond on social, more followers will join in.
That’s it from Bianchi PR. Now it’s time to ask yourself the question; are you making any of these 5 social media mistakes? If so, the time to fix it is right now.


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